Peptic Ulcers and H. Pylori
An Ulcer is a sore in the stomach or duodenum (beginning of small intestine) that is caused by a bacteria call H. Pylori. Many people have this but do not get ulcers.
Some people may not have any symptoms or may experience very mild symptoms.
- Discomfort in the abdomen - A dull ache in your belly, ache comes and goes, ache comes 2-3 hours after eating, ache comes in the middle of the night, ache goes away when you eat, ache goes away when you take an antacid like Tums
- Weight loss
- You don’t feel like eating
Causes of Ulcers may include:
- H. Pylori bacteria
- Using aspirin or ibuprofen for a long time
- Stress, alcohol, or spicy foods do NOT cause ulcers but can make them worse.
Diagnosing H. Pylori
H. Pylori can be diagnosed through a breath test, blood test, stool test and/or a tissue sample when an upper endoscopy is done.
Treatment options include:
- A prescription for drugs that will kill the bacteria and reduce acid in the stomach. After treatment, a stool test will be ordered to make sure the bacteria is gone.
- If the ulcer is caused by aspirin or ibuprofen , you will be asked to stop taking these medicines.
Call your doctor or go to the Emergency Room if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Sudden, severe stomach pain
- Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Bloody or black bowel movements